Map of Southeastern United States.

Enlarge / 5pm ET Thursday official track forecast for Hurricane Dorian. (credit: National Hurricane Center)

Hurricane-track forecasting has gotten pretty good over the last couple of decades—so much so that some hurricane scientists believe we are close to reaching a limit on predictability. However, there are still outlier storms that are difficult to forecast, and Hurricane Dorian is definitely one of those cases.

This uncertainly is only going to amplify the misery of Floridians seeking to prepare for or evacuate from what is likely a major hurricane bearing down on the state. In this case, the problem may be further worsened by premature confidence in where Dorian will go: as of Thursday evening, the one thing we do know about this storm is that we don't know where it's going to go.

Spaghetti plots of forecast tracks are commonly shared online, both in news stories and on social media, and they're sometimes useful. With Dorian, a plot like the one below from Thursday evening, which shows the official forecast track from the National Hurricane Center (in black) as well as other models, is actually very deceiving.

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